Daylight Savings Time
Moving into spring, March has a few highlights. The first important date is daylight savings time. In spring, we “spring ahead” because we set our clocks ahead one hour… March 13 at 2:00 am, losing an hour of sleep. Don’t forget to change your clocks before you go to bed, or you just might be late for your morning Zoom call or video chat!
The Jewish holiday of Purim begins March 16, 2022, at sundown. Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.
There are many traditions on this Jewish holiday; it is customary to give food as a gift to our friends. Men give to men, and women give to women… by way of a third party, usually a child. It is also customary to give to the needy, at least two needy recipients, including money, clothes or food. Also, drinking wine and alcohol is encouraged on this holiday. This is the holiday to “let loose!”. When greeting another on this holiday, one would say “Happy Purim,” or in Hebrew, you would say “chag Purim sameach” (pronounced KHAG poo-REEM sah-MAY-akh).
Purim is celebrated nationwide with traditional food, costumes and parades. A popular cookie made for Purim is called a “hamantaschen.” This triangle-shaped cookie is filled with a wonderful fruit filling and can be made with any filling you like. Traditional fillings include berries and nuts.
Try this delicious hamentaschen recipe from our website.
St. Patrick’s Day
The most popular holiday in March is St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day, which is always March 17th, is an Irish holiday honoring Saint Patrick, the missionary credited with converting the Irish to Christianity (starting in about 400 A.D.). Historical sources report that Patrick was born around 373 A.D. in either Scotland (near the town of Dumbarton) or in Roman Britain (the Romans left Britain in 410 A.D.). His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat (he took on Patrick, or Patricus, after he became a priest). At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his 6-year captivity working as a shepherd, he began to have religious visions and found strength in his faith. He finally escaped and went to France, where he became a priest and later a bishop.
When Saint Patrick was about 60 years old, he traveled to Ireland to spread the Christian word. It is said that Saint Patrick had an unusually winning personality, which helped him win converts. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, as a metaphor to explain the concept of the Trinity (father, son, Holy Spirit). Saint Patrick was also known to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland, which is why Ireland has no snakes. Different tales tell of Saint Patrick standing on a hill, using a wooden staff to drive the serpents into the sea, banishing them forever from the shores of Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in the United States with plenty of food, fun and wearing green. The first American celebration of Saint Patrick's Day was in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737. Americans celebrated with festivities and food. Today, we celebrate with foods like cabbage, our famous DYPs® (Dutch Yellow® Potatoes), corned beef and green foods of any kind.
Green is associated with Saint Patrick's Day because it is the color of spring, Ireland and the shamrock. Leprechauns are also associated with this holiday.
Melissa’s has some great food ideas for this green holiday. Green cabbage or salad savoy (flowering kale) are popular to enjoy. Boil them until tender and serve with your favorite meat (corned beef is traditional), and you’re off to a great start. Cabbage and kale contain plenty of vitamin C, too. They also have zero fat and zero cholesterol. Kale has become very popular for juicing because it is nutrient-dense and has no calories. Other greens like romaine and spinach are popular for salads or sides, and our steamed artichokes make a great dip with spinach, too!
These FUN FACTS are considered good luck on Saint Patrick’s Day…
• Finding a four-leaf clover
• Wearing green
• Kissing the Blarney Stone
First Day of Spring
The first day of spring is March 20, 2022. The climates worldwide are changing, so check your local nurseries for varieties to plant in your area.
Flowers are the most popular to plant… whimsical blooming with love in the air. Spring is welcomed nationwide, bringing some delicious fresh fruits and vegetables from artichokes to fiddleheads; spring is the best time for fresh. Melissa’s brings spring to your doorstep through your local retailer or mail-order. With COVID-19 still present, mail order is very popular! If you are looking for something specific and cannot find it at your local market, chances are good that we will have it! Just give us a call at 800.588.0151.